Wireless mice?
May 28, 2006 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Are wireless positional mouses like the Gyration Air Mouse any good?

I've been thinking of switching, but it's an expensive proposition, and I can't seem to find a store that has one hooked up to try it myself. Would someone who has used one advise me?
posted by anotherpanacea to Technology (7 answers total)
Best answer: the short answer is no.

I have a gyration and it's an efficient mouse, does exactly what's advertised, is well made and works well. BUT ... mousing isn't like that! Waving your hand to move the pointer just doesn't come naturally. Also, clicking almost inevitably means motion of the pointer too, as your hand moves to press the button, so it's not easy to use in the air.

I bought mine because of RSI ... it seemed such a good idea to wave my hand instead of stress the same old bits as usual. You hold in a button under the mouse when you want waving to be an action, and although the button was quite ergonomic and light to push, it just didn't feel good. I worked on the waving and got good at it, but eventually just used the standard mouse action. Unfortunately the mouse is rather humpbacked to use as a normal mouse; it's not bad, but it's not great either.

Now I have a standard mouse on the left (optical but not wireless) and on the right a Kensington trackball. The mouse cable is long enough to switch to right hand use occasionally, and I find the ability to switch device and position is enough to keep RSI at bay. The gyration has been on the shelf quite a while.

I imagine the gyration would be very useful if you have a presentation, so you can mouse into the air while you walk around, but as a daily use mouse, I'd skip it.
posted by anadem at 7:05 PM on May 28, 2006

The gyro thing is pretty cool... I have one hooked up to my TV's computer.. It works and its way cool. But even tho it also works as a desktop mouse its not as good as a 'real' mouse. Range is great but it eats a charge. Absolutely perfect for a MMC or for PP and great to impress but thats about it.
posted by freeflytim at 7:09 PM on May 28, 2006

It works well for us in a conference room where the computer and the receiver are locked in a closet. Kinda cool in a laser pointer sort of way.
posted by Gungho at 7:13 PM on May 28, 2006

Response by poster: Sigh. anadem nails it, but in the disappointing negative. One last question: the fake models I've seen in the stores have a button on the bottom. Is that a trigger-finger left-click, or do you have to keep it depressed in order to register motion?
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2006

My school has a gyro mouse in virtually every classroom. I work answering the helpdesk phone in the IT department. No one has called with a serious complaint.
posted by fvox13 at 7:59 PM on May 28, 2006

The bottom button turns on the Gyro thingy.. a double click locks it on. It works as a 'regular' mouse unless you hold or double tap it.

As a regular mouse, yeah, it works, but the form factor is not as good as a 'regular' mouse.

Get one if you need if for PP demos or have a MMC where it really stands out and works for range and wow-ness.
posted by freeflytim at 8:25 PM on May 28, 2006

Best answer: The gyro mouse isn't good as a general purpose mouse. If you've got an HTPC or somesuch, it's a great alternative to the infrared "mouse remotes" some places sell. If you intend to buy one, though, avoid the keyboard from gyro. Everyone I know who has one has had it die within a few months of the warranty running out. Either individual keys or the whole thing just stops working. The mouse also has a flaw in the way the buttons are designed. After significant use, I find I have to pull the buttons up and bend them back in to place or they won't "bounce back" when clicked. Aside from all of that I use it pretty much every day with my HTPC and am happy with it.
posted by Spoonman at 8:05 AM on May 29, 2006

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